How To Avoid A Chimney Or Roofing Repair By Preventing Snow And Ice Build-Up

With the local weather forecast calling for dipping temperatures and wintry weather, you have probably gotten out your snow shovels or topped off the fuel in your snowblower, right? You’ve likely already gotten your fireplace and chimney ready, too. What about when that snow and ice start to pile up on your roof? Here’s our advice for preventing snow and ice damage so you can avoid having to pay for costly chimney and roofing repairs during wintry Massachusetts weather.

Snow And Ice Issues That Lead To Chimney Or Roofing Repairs

We caution customers a lot about how ice dams significantly damage tiles and lead to costly roofing repairs, but do you know how often you need to clean off the snow build-up to prevent chimney and roof damage? When the snowfall reaches six inches, you need to rake your rooftop. Since it is what also causes ice dams to form, you need to be vigilant about the snow build-up.

The weight of the snow is also problematic for chimney damage. Just one cubic foot of snow equates to 1.25 lbs per inch and over twenty-one pounds per cubic foot. To figure the appropriate time to clean your rooftop, calculate S x 1.25 = P (inches x 1.25=pound/sq. ft). So, 12 inches x 1.2 equals fifteen pounds per square foot of snow. If ice is present, calculate 5.2 pounds per inch.

As one cubic foot of ice can weigh more than fifty-five pounds, you could potentially have more than a thousand extra pounds on your roof at any given time during the winter. Not only does it create a hazardous setting for your family because of cave-ins, but you will likely experience water leaks and tears along with your smokestack that leads to massive roof and chimney repairs.

Snow build-up will also eventually lead to chimney and vent blockages that cause fatal gases like carbon monoxide and carbonaceous chemicals from creosote to enter your home. Blocked vents are also responsible for causing household fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most of the 27% of house fires reported in 2018 involved dirty chimneys.

There is also likely damage when snow and ice melt, most notably because of roofing issues like broken tiles and mortar cracks. It will also cause leaks that further weaken the home’s structural integrity. Weakened flashing around the chimney can also lead to broken foundation and vents. It is why we advocate for property owners to perform annual yearly chimney and roof inspections.

Cleaning A Roof Of Snow Or Ice To Avoid Roof And Chimney Repairs

First, it is vital to recognize the dangers of trying to clean snow and ice build-up off a roof during the wintertime. Depending on how much is there and how large a surface you are cleaning, you may need a rake, a shovel, or even a snow-blower. It also depends heavily on if the snow is dry or wet. You will want to investigate its condition or call us to have someone clean it for you.

If you would like to have a chimney or roof repair or cleaning, give us a call at (978) 977-3816 or visit our Facebook page by visiting us at